Friday, July 22, 2005

PRESS RELEASE: Arcata Adopts Voter Confidence Resolution


CA City Proclaims U.S. Election Methods Ensure Inconclusive Outcomes, Calls for Immediate Reform

July 20, 2005 -- Arcata, CA. The Arcata City Council, known worldwide for championing some of the most progressive political and environmental movements in the U.S., is now taking the lead on election reform through their adoption of the nation's first Voter Confidence Resolution.

"The Voter Confidence Resolution is a common sense statement saying privatized election machines and secret vote counting ensure inconclusive outcomes. Under these conditions we will never have unanimous agreement about election results," says Dave Berman, co-founder of the Voter Confidence Committee of Humboldt County, CA. "The Arcata City Council has demonstrated that our local government does hear the voice of the people, even when the federal government has stopped listening."

The Voter Confidence Resolution passed by a margin of 3 to 2 after 15 months of community lobbying and ultimately just 35 minutes of official public comment and discussion. Councilmember Dave Meserve voted with the majority and said, "Adopting the Voter Confidence Resolution is an important step in establishing the legitimacy of our federal elections. I'm pleased that Arcata was the first City to pass the Voter Confidence Resolution and hope that many other cities will follow."

Also voting in support of the resolution were Councilmembers Harmony Groves; and Paul Pitino, who said, "The Voter Confidence Resolution is a step in the right direction toward election reform. Someday we should have ranked choice voting and make our elections more democratic. I also support people running without endorsements and on a limited budget."

The Resolution also states that the Consent of the Governed, defined in the Declaration of Independence as the self-evident truth from which Government derives 'just Power,' is no longer being sought through elections in America. Unverifiable votes, privatized source code, and secret vote counting ensure inconclusive outcomes. Since the results are inherently uncertain, the Resolution states, there is no basis for confidence.

"This is where the faith-based and reality-based communities intersect," Berman said. "Ronald Reagan said 'Trust, but verify.' If only we could. Thirty percent of the votes cast last November could not be recounted. All votes must be verifiable or there is no basis for confidence in the results reported."

Around the U.S., election reform advocates are actively organizing and lobbying their City Councils to pass the Voter Confidence Resolution as well. The resolution adopted by Arcata has been developed at Berman's blog, and is presented as a template to be customized somewhat by other participating communities. However, the following points are the framework for the Resolution, which when used around the country will generate a cumulative impact as more and more resolutions pass:

1. The way it works now, we're guaranteed inconclusive outcomes and we'll never have unanimous agreement about election results.

2. The Voter Confidence Resolution contains a comprehensive election reform platform designed to ensure conclusive outcomes and create a new basis for confidence in U.S. federal elections.

3. Since the Consent of the Governed is not being sought, we ask: Has the Consent of the Governed been withdrawn, YET?

The benefit of cumulative impact means it is assumed that citizens will eventually switch the answer to this question from no, to YES, the Consent of the Governed HAS been withdrawn.

Berman added: "I have no doubt that other communities will pass the Voter Confidence Resolution. The question is how many will it take before we can say the Consent of the Governed has been withdrawn?"


Dave Berman, co-founder Voter Confidence Committee of Humboldt County, CA
Tel: (707) 845-3749 (Voter Confidence Resolution) (GuvWurld blog main page) (Voter Confidence Committee home page)



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